Poultry eggs are part of a unique reproductive system. The egg serves to protect and provide nutrients to the developing embryo. Since the embryo receives no additional nutrients from the hen, the egg must contain all the nutrients essential for life. Nutrients are found in the yolk, the albumen, and the shell of the egg. The egg is a convenient self-contained package for studying embryology.

General Information

Safe Handling of Chicks

Wally Cat poster for kids on safe handling of chicks (University of Kentucky)

Embryology in the Classroom - Don't chicken out due to unnecessary health concerns (Pennsylvania State University)

Where to get incubators and incubator supplies:

Where to get fertile eggs - In Kentucky contact Mike Ford at the Poultry Research Facility in Lexington

Suggestions for poultry-related activities in the classroom

Relevant Research

Creating Agricultural Awareness through an Interactive Learning Experience: Incubators in the Classroom

The poultry Extension staff at Purdue University has implemented an Extension program for fourth-grade elementary students. The program, called "Incubators in the Classroom", offers interactive experiences by which students can learn about various aspects of agriculture. Interactivity is accomplished through interaction with teachers/educators, CD-ROMs, and other learning materials. The overall programmatic goal is to increase agriculture awareness and enhance education among fourth-grade students. The program was revamped in May 1997, and to date has directly reached more than 15,000 students. Presently, the investigators are seeking ways to critically evaluate the program. Critical evaluation is the only objective method of assessing the true impact of this endeavor.

Evaluation of the Incubators in the Classroom program - Does it increase fourth-grade students' knowledge of agriculture-related science concept


The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of agricultural literacy materials designed for the Incubators in the Classroom program used in Indiana fourth-grade classrooms. The objectives were to determine the impact of these materials on the agriculture-related science concepts knowledge level of fourth-grade students and the impact of these materials on the agriculture-related science concepts knowledge level of fourth-grade teachers. The effectiveness of the educational materials was measured using a pretest-posttest research design with Indiana fourth-grade school children (n=736) and their respective teachers (n=39). The sample of students and teachers was divided into experimental and control groups, then stratified based on community population size (less than 5,000, between 5,000-15,000, and greater than 15,000). Quantitative data were collected through questionnaires. The data indicated the educational materials developed and assessed for this study were effective in increasing knowledge about agriculture-related science concepts among both the experimental students and teachers.